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Why Is There a Callus On My Cat’s Paw?

Suppose you examine your cat’s paw and notice something like an extra claw growing out of the cat’s footpad. Finding a callused area on your cat’s foot can be somewhat alarming because it looks odd.

A callus resembles another nail or a horn. A callus is generally nothing to be concerned about and is very similar to the callused areas humans develop on their feet.

A cat callus presents nothing to worry about, which is quite common. If these areas seem to be uncomfortable for your cat, seek the advice of your vet as to what you can do.

Why Is There a Callus On My Cat’s Paw?

While cats are very independent and take care of themselves 90 percent of the time, they still need personal hygiene help in some areas like ears, noses, hinnies, and toes for ultimate personal hygiene care. Since healthy feet are critical to you and your cat, there are some things to help your kitty take good care of its paws.

Outside, cats have ways to sharpen their nails. Inside, cats have a more difficult time. It is good to have cat scratchers or cat trees with wood or rope so your cat can sharpen their claws.

These cat items help your cat not scratch their nails on your fabric and wood furniture. Cats will also pull their nails with their teeth.

  • If you think that you are on your feet a lot, it does not compare to cats’ time on their little paws. They run bare-pawed all the time. Never ignore paw care. Caring for cats’ feet is as essential as caring for your feet. Cats perform mammoth hours of activity, causing friction and rubbing their paws.
  • Trim your cat’s nails, so they do not grow into the footpads, causing a painful injury. Untrimmed nails can cause damage to the bones and joints in the foot. When you allow your cat’s nails to get too long, they become stuck and torn in objects. Trimming cat nails keeps your kitty comfortable.
  • It helps your cat’s paws if you massage any safe household cooking oil into the pads of the feet to help keep the skin supple. For example, you can massage tiny amounts of olive oil or coconut oil onto the pads. When the cat licks its paws, the oil will not harm the cat. It may help with the formation of hairballs.
  • Long-haired cats tend to grow an abundance of hair on their feet. This helps to protect the cat’s paws and is a good thing. However, this hair can become matted, so it is helpful to keep paw hair trimmed.
  • Exceedingly active cats tend to develop calluses on their paws. You may notice a callus on an older cat. Outside, cats run the risk of frostbite to their feet. During the summer, cats run the risk of burning their sensitive paws. Cats also develop dry paws, the same as creating dry skin on your feet. Dry paws cause cracking on the paws, a painful issue. These things can contribute to a cat developing a callus.

I have been rescuing and caring for cats for over 30 years, and one thing that I absolutely do not agree with some cat parents is declawing.

I have had a few vets throughout the years tell me that declawing is similar to a human having all of their fingers and toes amputated. This does not stop the growth of a callus.

The declawing pain decreases significantly but never goes away entirely. Declawing increases the risk of the cat falling and injuring itself. These natural climbers have no way to grab hold of anything.

Never, ever declaw your kitty and allow it to run free outside. How in the world will it protect itself? Declawing a cat is selfish on the part of the cat parents and I feel it is one of the cruelest things a cat parent can do to their cat.

I have had at least three vets tell me that they declaw cats if that is what the client wants, but they hold my personal opinion. In my estimation, I believe this is a form of animal abuse, and if you feel the need to declaw, you should not be a cat parent. Consider other pet species.

Is It Normal For There To Be Callus On A Cat’s Paw?

Callus areas are typical for some cats, while others never develop a callus. If your cat’s walking becomes uncomfortable, please speak to your vet and seek treatment for your kitty, especially if the callus is getting bigger; you need to take the kitty to see the vet. The vet can give you treatment options.

What To Do If There Is Callus On My Cat’s Paw? 

Cats are skilled at hiding health issues, including callus on paws. It is an excellent habit to get into if you check your cat often from head to toe. Recommendations are that if you cut your kitty nails without a problem, you can also cut these calluses. I would not attempt to do this as a personal matter of opinion. Doctors say that these areas do not have a blood supply, so it is OK.

However, this old nurse of many years could not bring herself to do this and would take her kitty to the vet, where the doctor or technician could gladly do the chore. Everyone is different, and I have always lived on the side of caution. I do cut kitty nails if they allow me. If not, I will take them to the vet. A cat that fights you when trying to trim nails is not worth it. That cat acts differently when someone they do not know cut their nails.

Calluses can be in a tiny area or cover a larger area. Look for swelling, warmth, redness, and pain. If you feel lumps, bumps, or swollen areas on the paw pad, it could be or may not be calluses. Let your vet diagnose and treat, especially if you find green, yellow, white, or blood drainage. This drainage means that your cat has an infection that needs your vet’s help.

When Should I See A Vet About Callus On My Cat’s Paw?

Whenever you notice a difference in your cat’s standard wellness, such as callus on its paws, let your vet take a look and direct you towards the proper treatment. Call these areas what you may,

  • Callus
  • Horns
  • Extra nail

A callus is painless as they are. But, sometimes, the callus can grow too big and begin pressing on the cat’s footpad, causing some discomfort when walking. The vet can trim this callus and may show you how to keep the area trimmed if you are already cutting your kitty’s nails.

There is a wealth of information on the internet on trimming these callus areas. However, I would not do it if it was me because, although I am a nurse, I am not a doctor, and I cannot diagnose. I opt to leave this up to my vet. If you take the chance to trim this area, you could cause your cat unnecessary pain and start an infection. Please practice caution.

  • The vet may recommend surgery to remove the callus.
  • The vet may do a biopsy.
  • The vet may have to do a surgical excision if the callus interferes with your cat’s walking, if the area is growing too fast, or if the callus has anything to do with another underlying health issue.

This type of surgery is not an invasive surgical procedure; however, it is best if your cat is under twilight sleep or lightly sedated. Your vet may order an antibiotic post-surgery to help prevent infection.

When you find a callused area, don’t worry and fret. Unless your cat is expressing pain and discomfort, monitor your cat’s walking, and you will notice if your cat’s walking seems painful. In the meantime, make an appointment and have your kitty’s paws examined. The vet will guide and direct your route.